Tingly wingly pingly

January 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 6 Comments
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That’s what a friend of mine (I’m sure Maggie can guess who) has started calling me, since I mentioned this strange tingling in my hands and wrists that’s started this morning and won’t go away. It’s both hands, so figure it’s not just a random trapped nerve thing. Most likely it’s swelling in my elbows or shoulders caused by the R.A. Yes, that’s the R.A. that’s supposed to be under control with the MTX. Hrumph!! I will be bothered to phone the R.A. Helpline next week.

Hmm, maybe if I repeat ten times I might actually do it. Some sort of mantra or affirmation:

I will be bothered to phone the R.A. Helpline next week.
I will be bothered to phone the R.A. Helpline next week.
I will be bothered to phone the R.A. Helpline next week.
I will be bothered to phone the R.A. Helpline next week.
I will be bothered to phone the R.A. Helpline next week.
I will be bothered to phone the R.A. Helpline next week.
I will be bothered to phone the R.A. Helpline next week.
I will be bothered to phone the R.A. Helpline next week.
I will be bothered to phone the R.A. Helpline next week.
I will be bothered to phone the R.A. Helpline next week.

I wonder if copy and paste was cheating though?

The hidden costs of even mild R.A.

January 15, 2010 at 11:11 am | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 6 Comments
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I’m part of the Norfolk Arthritis Register (NOAR) study, which is an epidemiological study around rheumatoid arthritis. They look into all sorts of things, physical, mental and social, that affect R.A. patients, from an epidemiological standpoint – i.e. they look at lots of us and then see what the statistics say. In spite of the old ‘lies, damn lies and statistics’ quote, they produce some very interesting results.

One of the bits of research they did, before I was involved, was around the hidden costs of R.A. and it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Even mild R.A. leads to an extraordinary amount of hidden costs, even in this country with our ‘free healthcare’. I’m trying to compile a list of those hidden costs for someone like me with mild R.A. – I’d be interested in any additions people might think of, so please comment if any come to mind! Later on, when I have the list as complete as I can make it, I’m going to try and price it. I think that might be quite frightening.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • Over the counter medications such as paracetamol, stomach settlers etc. not prescribed by the doc
  • Time off work due to sickness
  • Time of work to attend hospital appointments (consultant, nurse, physio, OT etc.)
  • Travel costs to attend hospital, since I live in a rural area and hospitals are 30 miles for consultant/nurse and ten miles or so for OT/physio.
  • Aids such as jar openers, tin openers etc. (Some of these are free through OT services, some aren’t.) I have compression gloves from OT for instance, but they’re starting to get a bit baggy/stretchy after less than a week, so I might invest in some good quality ones!
  • An occasional one only, but cost of trips etc. cancelled due to a flare!

I’m sure there are more – will add them as I think of them or as people comment with suggestions! Some, like cost of transport because one can’t drive, I haven’t included because they haven’t actually happened to me so far!

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